too much rain?

TJG911(z5b CT)July 6, 2008

you really do not need to water your garlic as they'll get all the water they need from rain. now if you don't have rain for say 3 weeks then i'd water them, otherwise do not water garlic.

that said, it just has not stopped raining and being cloudy since late may. it rains constantly. for the past 2 weeks the humidity has been wicked high so even the air is wet preventing the mulched bed from drying out. sun, what is sun? if we get 2 days in a row without rain, 1/4" up to 2", it's like winning the lottery 2 straight days. my plants look ok but not as good as they should, i think they are showing signs of too much water. normally by july 4th it is parched around here, so dry and hot you have water other crops frequently.

i am concerned about the outcome of this harvest and the storage capability this year. if all is well, i'll be surprised. i had over watered some of my garlic last summer where i over lapped the back and forth movement with the wand in a 12' long bed and those bulbs showed signs of not curing well. storage is very important to me.

we'll see in about 3 weeks.


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makalu_gw(z5b NY)


I hope you have good luck and the harvest holds off for you. I think due to all the rain, most of mine have finally given up the ghost and fallen over so I had to harvest this weekend which is a couple of weeks early. The size is a bit smaller than usual - in the 1 3/4" to 2 1/4" range - and I'm putting that down to just less sun due to the rains. They're hung up to dry now under the porch and it's going to be something to see if they dry down normally if we keep getting these afternoon thunderstorms, if not, I'll be peeling and freezing the ones that don't cooperate or making tons of pesto. The weather forecast looks like it'll dry out by Wednesday so I hope they're right.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:42AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

i hear ya. i have 1 plant that does look like it may fall over tho it is an outside plant. no other plants, in the bed or at the border, are falling. damn rain held off now for 3 days!!! some sun today but soil that is not mulched is still damp with temps in upper 80's to low 90's for 3 days. i fear the harvest will be reduced in bulb size due to this.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:15PM
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Im in Mass and I hear you on the rain. Although my grass thanks mother nature and my water bill thanks her too. I wonder about my garlic.
I do have a question since you are so close. Around when do you normally dig up your garlic? on my plants the bottom 2 leaves are dried up. the rest of the plant looks green and juicy. LOL I really want these beds to start some spinach in. Will they be done by say Aug?
also where do you hang yours up? Im lost on ideas, will a back porch be to hot?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:56PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

it's inconcievable that it's past july 4th the hotest and driest time of the year and i have not watered my garden more than 4 or 4 times and that was back in may! grass has to be mowed every 5 days and it's almost too long at that point but i can't mow every 4 days! well if i had some of that cheap mass gas i could!!!

garlic is harvested when about 1/2 of the leaves dry up and go to yellow and brown. for me this is usually about 7/15 to 7/25 never into august. if you wait too long the bulb swells too much bursting the paper wrapper and this decreases storage life. i store about 150-175 bulbs so for me that's super important. if you have 20 bulbs then storage for you is not too long. when you think it is ready dig a few bulbs and look at the wrapper at the top. if it is bursting then dig FAST!

when you dig the garlic, won't it be too hot for spinach? it bolts fast and is usually started in spring in cooler weather. august should be what 85-90! just curious, maybe for you it works, near the ocean where it's cooler perhaps?

you have to hang it to cure (dry out) in the shade. DO NOT put garlic in the sun! when digging them up, i cover them with a tarp on the lawn to keep them shaded as i dig for a while with so many plants. i put mine on racks in my shed and leave the door open. i don't have great air circulation and it's hot in there even with a ceiling window open but it is in the shade (the shed) for 1/3 of the day and it's not too hot inside. if your porch is on the north side and you can shade them in the am and pm when the suns the farthest north when rising and setting then ok. also no rain they MUST be kept dry. if your porch is not shaded and dry use a garage or basement just so long as it is warm and dry without the sun. proper air circulation is important so they dry, that's key.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:00PM
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reba_nc(z 7)

Count your blessings guys. Last year my area (NC) suffered the worst drought in recorded history for the region. It's better now but still too dry.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:58AM
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HEY Tom How are your onions doing with all that rain????I'm having rain also. My onions are loving it, may have to get out the backhoe this fall to get em out of the ground!!Mowing grass when ever it's dry and some times when it's wet. Good luck with your garlic.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:10PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

hey yopper sounds like you are getting too much rain too.

all of june was cloudy, raining, humid just terrible so i think the bulbs are small. today was wonderful 83 40% humidity and full sun all day! just sparkling dry with nice breezes too. usually the greens start to tip over around 8/1 and i pull them about 8/12 or so.

guess that 4' spacing produced giant backhoe bulbs? you crack me up! hey did the snow melt yet? ;-)


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 6:41PM
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when you dig the garlic, won't it be too hot for spinach? it bolts fast and is usually started in spring in cooler weather. august should be what 85-90! just curious, maybe for you it works, near the ocean where it's cooler perhaps? >>>>

well I was going to work some compost into the beds and start seed mid to late August, I think if I start any later it will be to cold. our usual first frost date is in October.

I think our shed might be to hot to dry them out in. Can I keep them outside as long as they are in the shade? our back yard is all shade all the time. Or would the basement be better, where it is a bit cooler.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:26AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

spinach is cold hardy. not sure about frost and freeze tho.

how hot? 120? a 8 X 6 metal shed? mine is 12 X 16 wood about 1 1/2 stories, there's a loft up above buy only 4' high. it is not much above ambient air temps in there. with shade from trees on west it is in the shade by mid afternoon.

so outside in shade is ok but they can NOT get wet. inside something is better as it eliminates dampness at night. have a garage? basement is ok as long as it is not damp, the point is to dry the plants.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 2:45PM
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YEH Tom the snow finaly left!!!! Now with all this rain we have huge crop of skeeters. We have two seasons here one shoveling and one swatting!!! Have a good one!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 9:19AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)


i dug 1 french pink bulb a few days ago, all of the french pink are almost on the ground... never saw this before.

the bulb is 2" and looks fine.

i have 1 music also on the ground for several days so i dug it today.

the bulb is 3" and looks fine, until closer inspection!

i called rich, a local organic farmer, who i got my stock from. his garlic is a mess and he's trying to dig it all up before we get any more rain, no rain for 10-14 days but the soil is still damp and clings to the bulbs and especially the roots with 2" of straw mulch on it.

so i decide to dig all the french pink. rain showers are predicted for sunday thru tuesday. some bulbs are a smaller than the original but just 1 or 2 are 1" most are 2-2.5" and i have 2 that are the size of a bigger than normal music bulb, and that's large.

many bulbs have wrapper problems due to being too wet. i question how well this long storage variety will store?

the 1 music bulb has the wrapper worn away at the roots with a space that looks like a clove is exposed. i assume too much rain.

the other 6 varieties are standing up and don't look quite ready to dig so i am going to chance it and hope the thunderstorms miss me or don't drop a lot of rain.

it just rained all of june every day with almost no sun at all, maybe 3 days if that. we got about 4 months rain in 1 month. pole beans, winter squash, cukes, peppers plants are smaller than normal and onion bulbs are smaller too tho plants are large and healthy. other plants seem to have grown ok - broccoli (heads rotting and bursting), potatoes but digging will tell me for sure, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, chard, parsley, eggplant. zucchini and yellow squash just put out on july 4th so they look ok.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 7:53PM
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